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Cuban Picadillo

On 21 Aug 2005 at 19:22, Mary wrote:

> More years ago than I care to remember, I had the complete
> encyclopedia set  of  "Woman's Day Encyclopedia of Cooking".  In it
> (and I believe it  was under "Beef"), was a recipe for picadillo.  It
> may have been submitted  by Mary Hemmingway, wife of the author.  I no
> longer have the books and  though I can remember most of the recipe, I
> think my measurements of the  ingredients are off - It doesn't taste
> quite as good as I remember  from the 60's.
> I have attempted a search on the internet, but have come up empty 
> handed.  
> Any help would be greatly appreciated.
> Sincerely,
> Mary 
> Ingredients were -
> Ground beef
> Onions
> Garlic
> tomatoes
> White wine
> Stuffed olives
> Raisins
> Green pepper
> Salt and pepper
> Served over rice.

Hello Mary,

Well, we have that set of books. The index says that the picadillo recipe is in volume #6, not #2, which is the beef volume. However, as luck would have it, we cannot find volume 6.

I did find the below recipe, which has all of the ingredients that you name. It is the only picadillo recipe that I could find, either on the Internet or in our files, that had exactly the ingredients that you list.

If we locate our copy of volume 6, I will check this recipe against that one. If it is the same, then you will not hear from me. If it is different, I will send you the recipe from volume 6.


Cuban Picadillo 

2 Tbsp. cooking oil 
2 large cloves garlic, minced 
1 large onion, chopped 
1 green pepper, chopped 
1/2 tsp. pepper 
1/4 tsp. salt 
1 lb. ground beef 
1/3 c. dry white wine 
2 large tomatoes, chopped 
1 c. raisins, plumped in hot water 
1/3 c. sliced pimento stuffed olives 

Fry garlic and onion 5 minutes in oil, stirring frequently. 
Add seasonings, meat and wine, stirring occasionally, until 
meat is done. Add tomatoes, olives and raisins and stir again. 
Add green pepper and cook very briefly, retaining crispness.
Serve over rice.

Dragon Beard Candy

On 21 Aug 2005 at 2:04, Jack wrote:

> Hi!
> I'm looking for a Chinese Dragon Beard candy recipe. I've only been
> able to find some very general information about it.
> Thanks,
> Jack 

Hello Jack,

Dragon Beard candy candy making is a quite ancient technique.

The art of making this candy by hand has been handed down from master candy maker to apprentice over two millenia. It's not something that you can teach yourself from a recipe. If you would like to purchase dragon's beard candy online, see:

I did find one recipe (below), and there is a video of the candy being made at:

Dragon's Beard Candy

I imagine that it's only a matter of time before someone invents a machine that makes this candy (if they haven't already), thus taking all of the art and skill out of it and making a uniform, boring commercial product.


Dragon Hair Candy 

Ingredients : 
75g Desiccated coconut 
75g White sugar 
75g Peanut 
38g White sesame 
150g Corn syrup (white Karo)
1 bowl glutinous rice flour 

Method : 
(1) Bring corn syrup to boil over mild heat for 5 mins until thick. Put into refrigerator for 4 hours. 
(2) Dig a hole in the middle of corn syrup & coat with glutinous rice flour. 
(3) Stretch along the hole, when become a big ring and make it to 8 shape like 
 2 small rings and put 2 rings together. Repeat till it's like silk. 
(4) Grate the peanuts, mix it with seasame & sugar. 
(5) Cut the silk sugar into pieces, wrap it with mixed peanuts. 

Glass Bending

On 21 Aug 2005 at 12:16, Margaret wrote:

> Not a recipe question but have heard that you are very effective.
> I have a cabinet that requires a bent glass replacement and have not
> found an affordable place to buy the glass.  How can I bend the glass
> at home and what equipment would I use?  I think it should be possible
> based on the success of the artisens of the times of old, I just don't
> know how to do it.
> Thank-you
> Margaret

Hello Margaret,

Well, I don't think you are going to be able to do this yourself at home.

Bending a small piece glass is, of course, not very difficult. Years ago, in my high school chemistry class, we bent small glass tubes like this:

"Light the [gas] burner and open the air hole. This gives a hot blue flame. Using both hands, move the tube back and forth through the top of the flame. At the same time rotate the tube. Heat about 5 centimetres of tube. When the tubing is warm, lower it into the dark blue cone of the flame. Keep rotating the tube until it glows red and the tube has become soft. Take the tube out of the flame and bend it. Do not force the bending and once bent do not reheat it. Hold the tubing until it cools a little. Then put it on the gauze mat to cool."

At between 500 - 600C glass turns from a brittle solid to a plastic substance. The art of glass-bending is to use this plastic state to produce shapes which are complex, yet free from wrinkles and other optical aberrations.

Arts and crafts people use this technique of glass tube bending to make artistic neon tubes and glass sculptures.

However, bending a larger, flat piece of glass for a cabinet is a different kettle of fish. This kind of thing is usually done by placing the piece of glass over a mold of the correct shape, then placing the whole thing into a glass bending kiln. When the glass becomes soft, it fits itself to the shape of the mold. After you let it cool, then you have the shape you want. The artisans of old certainly had kilns. After all, they made glass from scratch and even melted metals and produced coins.

Do you have a home kiln that 's big enough to take the piece of glass and heat it up to over 500 Celsius (932 Fahrenheit)? Most people don't. Your kitchen stove won't work, sorry. Then, of course, there's the mold. Remember, it has to withstand around 1,000F.

Your best bet is to find a custom glass bending shop and get an estimate. You might also look for a local community college or vocational-technical school in your area that teaches glass bending. They would have the equipment, and they might do it for you just for the price of the materials.


Scrippelle 'mbusse

On 21 Aug 2005 at 15:44, Don wrote:

> Hi,
> Can someone provide a recipe for Le scrippell'm'busse .
> It is from the Abruzzo area of Italy and seems
> like it should be simple to make.
> It is Crepes filled woth Pecorino Romao cheese and rolled.
> The dish had two crepes in it in a bowl and was then
> covered with Chicken Stock.
> Thanks,
> Don

Hello Don,

Well, the dish is simple to make, but good luck finding "beef knees." See below for three recipes. The first is from


Scrippelle 'mbusse 

  For the Scrippelle: 
  1 egg per person 
  2 level tablespoons of flour per egg. 
  half a glass of water or milk for each 
  For the broth: 
  300-400 gr.beef 
  300-400 gr. of muscle bone of beef knee 
  1 turkey wing 
  1 tuft of parsley 
  1 celery stalk 
  1/2 onion 
  1 carrot 
  grated pecorino cheese 
  salt - provate con Organic pecorino cheese (sheep's milk hard cheese)
Make a fluid dough (pastella) with eggs and flour, diluting with 1 cup of 
water per egg. If you prefer use milk instead of water.

Grease a pan with lard (or oil) and heat pan. 

Using a ladle, add the dough a little bit at a time, to make very thin 
omelets and let it cook over a low flame. 

After you have finished cooking the scrippelle, make the broth, boiling 
the beef, muscle, bone turkey wing, carrot celery and parsley altogether 
in a pot for about 2 hours. Strain the broth. 

Fill the scrippelle with pecorino cheese roll each of them, place three 
rolled scrippelle in a soup plate and pour the broth over them. Then 
sprinkle with pecorino cheese. 
Li Scrippelle 'mbusse"

This recipe serves 6. 


For the Scrippelle: 1 egg per person; 2 level tablespoons of flour per egg. 

For the broth: 300-400 gr.beef, 300-400 gr. of muscle bone of beef knee, 
1 turkey wing, 1 tuft of parsley, 1 celery stalk, 1/2 onion, 1 yellow carrot, 
a Parmesan cheese rind, salt, grated Parmesan cheese (if desired). 

making it: 

Make a dough with eggs and flour, diluting with 1 cup of water per egg.

Grease a pan with lard (or oil) and heat pan. 

Using a ladle, add the dough a little bit at a time, to make very thin 
fritters and let it cook over a low flame. 

After you have finished cooking the scrippelle, make the broth, boiling 
the beef, muscle, bone turkey wing, carrot celery and parsley altogether 
in a pot for about 2 hours. Strain the broth. 

Place the rolled scrippelle in soup plates and pour the broth over them. 
Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. 

You can also substitute the water used to make the dough with milk.
Scrippelle 'Mbusse 
 Preparation time   up to a half-hour 
Flour, 3 eggs, half a glass of milk, parsley, grated pecorino cheese, 
chicken broth, nutmeg, salt
Break the eggs in a bowl and whisk them with a fork; add some milk, 
finely-chopped parsley, an abundant spoonful of pecorino cheese, 
a pinch of salt and nutmeg. Blend all the ingredients and add some 
white flour, until the blend is quite compact. Dilute it with cold 
water to make it liquid. Grease a 20-cm-diameter pan with some lard, 
put it on the stove and when it is hot, pour a spoonful of batter, 
turning carefully the container so that the paste spreads and becomes 
wide but very thin, almost transparent: when it becomes brown, on one 
side, turn it upside down carefully and cook also the other side. 
Carry out this procedure until you finish all the batter. Sprinkle 
some grated pecorino on the Scrippelle, roll them up, like cannelloni, 
put them in plates and when you serve them, pour on them some boiling-hot 

Self-Rising Cake Flour

On 21 Aug 2005 at 0:03, John wrote:

> Hi, I have a baking book from England and I tried two recipes
> in it. Neither cake would rise. The recipe called for
> self-rising cake flour. I couldn't find a product that said
> self-rising cake flour so I used SwansDown cake flour and it
> looks like that was a big mistake. Have you heard of a
> self-rising cake flour in the United States? 
> Certainly would appreciate your help.       
>  Pat in North Carolina

Hello Pat,

Swansdown seems to have discontinued the self-rising version of their cake flour a few years ago. Presto makes a self-rising cake flour. See:

Presto Flour

Presto Flour 2

Here is a formula for making plain cake flour into self -rising:

Self-Rising Cake Flour: For (one cup) 1 cup cake flour use 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Mix well.



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